Molecular models of polythene and polyamide, 1985.
3 4 c m
40cm
actual image size: 32cm x 26cm

Molecular models of polythene and polyamide, 1985.

© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library

Description

Both polythene (left) and polyamide (right) are examples of polymers, which are large molecules formed from chains of repeating simple molecular sub-units known as monomers. Polythene (polyethylene), for example, is a long chain of individual molecules of ethene (C2H4) joined together. Polymerisation occurs when monomers are subjected to conditions of heat and presure, usually in the presence of a catalyst. The majority of synthetic polymers are plastics. These models formed part of an interactive display at the Science Museum, London, demonstrating the difference in stiffnes between these two plastics.
 

Image Ref.

10256584
 

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